- A member of the House Representatives, Bamidele Salam, is calling for a constitutional amendment to reduce the number of federal lawmakers
- Salam says the measure can be achieved by reducing the number of senators per state to one from three, while the House of Representatives should be reduced to one-third of its current 360 members
- The lawmaker notes that the executive arm both at the federal and states level can also engage in cutting the cost of government spending
Bamidele Salam, a member of the House Representatives, has called for the number of federal lawmakers to be reduced by about two-thirds.
The lawmaker who represents Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo federal constituency said the reduction in the number of federal legislators would help cut the cost of running the Nigerian government, Premium Times reports.
He said this could be achieved by reducing the number of senators per state to one from three, while the House of Representatives should be reduced to one-third of its current 360 members.
“In practical terms, the Senate should be made up of one senator per state, meeting on part-time basis (to confirm appointments, approve loans, emergency powers etc.) while the House of Representatives should have only one-third of its present number sitting as a full time parliament,” Salam stated.
He said executive arm in states can also cut the cost of governance by reducing the number of commissioners to seven while the federal government should have a maximum of 15 ministers.
“Truth is that we cannot afford what we currently operate but we are living in denial. I support all measures necessary to reduce our cost of governance and have more money for real development. This may include a downward review of emoluments of public office holders, not just lawmakers but everyone holding a public office from the local to the federal level,” Salam said.
He noted that the present cost of governance was bogus and inefficient. The lawmaker suggested that a constitutional amendment should be undertaken to restructure the Nigerian federation to bring the institutions of governance in tune with the social, political and more importantly, economic realities.
“A country with over 200 million population and terrible social and infrastructure deficit as ours should not be spending more than 70 percent of its annual budget on recurrent expenditure. It is simply not sustainable and the place to start is from the size of our government," he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate has justified the N37bn voted for the renovation of the National Assembly complex in the budget, noting that the dilapidated condition of the National Assembly building required urgent attention.
Godiya Akwashiki, the Senate spokesperson and chairman of the committee on media and public affairs, on Monday, December 30, faulted a court action initiated against the legislature by the Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP) and other groups regarding the renovation project, The Guardian reported.
The Senator said who expressed shock at the of the legal action, explained that the National Assembly had nothing to do with the renovation work which he said was being carried out by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
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